College Selection Strategies

Posted on Jun 23, 2016

2f64408As you initiate your college applications list, there are a wide range of criteria you need to consider before deciding which universities are a right fit for you.
Selecting the right college is a decision that stays with you for your entire life. Yes, your entire life.

If you have used an automated college finder and got bizarre results, learn about how to find the right college.

Top 10 tips for choosing the right college:
1) College Size:
Decide if you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond. Examine the student/faculty ratio at your potential college. Size is important in terms of resources available, job opportunities, one-on-one interaction and whether the environment is conducive to your learning and social wellbeing.

2) Location:
Please keep in mind the climatic conditions, proximity to friends and family, commute to an urban center, travel options etc. as you determine your location preferences.

3) Career Track/Specialization:
Ensure that you apply to a college that has a strong focus on the subjects you are interested in. Research the various programs and departments at the school and determine the school’s expertise and focus areas.

4) Strong alumni ties:
A vibrant alumni network is pivotal at every stage of your life. Inquire about the alumni club, engagement of the club in your city, alumni leading your target companies and the breadth of that network.

5) Faculty:
The education system overseas is popular due to its global faculty. Determine which universities are home to experts or Nobel laureates in your field of interest.
6) Life Outside the Classroom:
Education abroad lets you develop a holistic personality and extracurricular activities are an important part of it. Explore the clubs, groups, meetups the school has to offer and ensure you find things that resonate with your personality.

7) Diversity/Global Component:
Gaining a global perspective by interacting with people from across the world is an integral part of a college experience. Look for diversity. Check the school’s website and talk to current students and alumni to determine the spread of nationalities present at school. Placement reports published by schools also give insights into students working lives before and after the program globally.

8) Ranking and Reputation:
Numerous top publications publish rankings of schools for a myriad of programs across various criteria. Let rankings be a small part in deciding your school. They are dynamic and change constantly. Instead, speak to potential employers, current students and alumni to get an in-depth perspective on the school.

9) Cost/Duration of the Program:
Even though several schools offer grants and scholarships, if this is a core criterion, schools that offer more financial aid should be considered.

10) Realistic Target:
Dream big, but keep your targets realistic. Try to strike a balance between reality and ambition while applying to college.

Happy soul-searching!

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